How to Start and Make Money Blogging for Beginners

how to start a money making blogI started the website Tried and True Mom Jobs for only $84. I’m completely self-taught and believe ME when I say, if I can do it, you definitely can.

I’ve had numerous requests to share the process of how to start a blog, so I am going to share with you what steps to take, free resources to use, and how I only spent $84.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Here is How to Start and Make Money Blogging for Beginners

Step 1: Decide what to blog about

Many bloggers write about what they are passionate about. I’m passionate about moms being able to stay home, raise their kids, and make money because it’s what I want and I believe my findings won’t only help me, but can help you too.

Unfortunately, every passion you have won’t make you money.  Scrivs from Obstacle.co says the 7 top blog niches that gain the most traffic and make the most money are:

  • How to Make Money
  • Personal Finance
  • Health and Fitness
  • Food
  • Beauty and Fashion
  • Lifestyle
  • Personal Development

You can certainly make money in other niches, but these are just the most popular. It can take several months before you earn any money but it can pay off significantly.

Step 2: Choose a Domain Name

You’ll want to really think about this because your domain name is so important.  Make sure you consider the following when choosing a name:

  • Easy to Pronounce & Spell
  • Make it Short (I know, I know my domain name is a little long)
  • Easy to remember

Click here and scroll to the very bottom of the page under “Services” and click on “Domain Names” to see if your desired name is available.

If it’s available, purchase it! Actually, WAIT. Don’t purchase the domain yet because you can get it for FREE with hosting (see next step)

Step 3: Get Hosting

Now that you know what your domain will be, it’s time to get started!  You’ll need to get web hosting. Why? Look at it like this; web hosting is like having a landlord. To live there (on the web) you have to pay rent but at a very low price.

I host my site on Bluehost. Update: I used to host my site on Bluehost but for the “Shared” plan I was on it only allowed me to have 4,000 visits to my site a day and I was exceeding that so I switched to SiteGround (More Affordable). 

Although I had no issues with Bluehost, I have found that SiteGround is a much better host. It’s more affordable with greater support.

I recommend using SiteGround for the following reasons:

  • Site Speed (They helped reduce my site speed by 10 seconds, that’s huge!)
  • Performance
  • Affordable – I paid $65.40 with Bluehost and I could have paid only $47 for the first year with SiteGround
  • Once your traffic grows you can easily move to their “GoGeek” plan like me and it is the most inexpensive plan compared to the other Hosting sites I found.
  • The SSL Certificate is FREE! Google will begin to penalize websites that are unsecured if they do not have the “S” at the end of HTTP (the “S” indicates that it is secured).

Step 4: Find a Theme (aka Template)

I always tell people to draw out what you want your site to look like BEFORE purchasing a theme.  Check out your competitors and sites you admire.  Once you have an idea of what you want your site to look like, choose a premium theme from WordPress or ThemeForest and make sure they have good reviews and GREAT support. 

Try not to choose a free theme because they are typically not up-to-date and do not provide support.

I used the theme Rigel on ThemeForest for only $19 at the time.  I wouldn’t recommend spending anything over $60 for a theme. 

Step 5:  Install WordPress and Your Theme

To install WordPress using the SiteGround Wizard, first access your Customer Area. After you signup for their WordPress hosting package, you will receive all the necessary information you need to log in.

Install your theme to WordPress. I’ve always had to use FileZilla (Fee file management tool for FTP access) to upload my theme but you may not have to.  Make sure you follow the documentation of your theme to successfully install.

Once your theme is installed, the fun begins! You can start creating.

Step 6: Change your Permalinks Settings – DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP

Before you get started posting anything, go to your Settings -> Permalinks -> Choose “Post name” and then save the changes.

Permalinks are permanent URLs for the pages on your site. They should never change, so it’s important to get it right before you start posting.

Permalinks should not include dates because the search engines use words, not numbers to understand what your site is about.

Step 7: Set up your email

Instead of having @yahoo.com or @gmail.com use your domain name. You can do this in SiteGround’s cPanel under “Email”.

I highly recommend integrating your website email account with your Gmail account or whoever your email provider is for a better user experience. Here are the instructions if you have Gmail.

Below I’ve listed some other tips that will help get you going before you launch your blog:

  • Keep it to yourself until after you launch.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised how this will add value to what you’ve done.  You will need others to bounce ideas off so create a small circle of positive minds and keep it small. You already have yourself that will give you doubts.
  • Join the Facebook group Blogging Like We Mean it for encouragement, support, and to stay updated on what’s going on in the blogging world.
  • Try and have at least five-ten posts already on your site before you launch, you’ll want to look established.
  • Use your competition as a helpful guide for popular topic ideas. I use Buzzsumo, you get 5 FREE  searches a day.
  • Look for the best opportunities to monetize your site through affiliate marketing, ads, advertising, sponsorships, and the list goes on.
  • When you add pictures to your website, make sure you save the file for whatever keywords you want people to find your content. I wish I’d known to do this earlier.
  • Start a Facebook page and Pinterest page if it fits your market. I spend all my time on Pinterest because that’s where I get 99% of my traffic, you can see how I do that here.
  • Install Google analytics to track the activity on your site.
  • I purchased a logo on Fiverr for $10.
  • Check off everything from this SEO checklist before you launch

How did I only pay $84 for my site?

I paid $19 for my theme + $65 for 12 months of Bluehost hosting = $84. That’s it! (It would have been cheaper with SiteGround).

Now to show you step-by-step how I make money online you can click here.

These are the FREE tools I use to help manage my site:

  • Images: I use free stock photography websites like pexels, unsplash, stocksnap, and pixabay.
  • Image Size Reducer: I use TinyPNG to decrease the file size and the WordPress plug-in Smush.  DO NOT UPLOAD ORIGINAL SIZED IMAGES! It will slow your site down.
  • SEO: Yoast
  • No follow Link: Rel Nofollow Checkbox – When you include affiliate links on your website you ALWAYS need to make it a “no-follow” link so google won’t try to recognize it.Best Affiliate programs to make money from

When you add a link to a website it will always be a “follow” link and Google and other search engines will penalize you for using too many paid links, so to get around that you can download a no follow plug-in and edit your affiliate links to look like the above.

If you use WordPress, click on your hyperlink and then edit. Check the rel=”nofollow” and Open a link in a new tab so the user can stay on your site. I use the Rel Nofollow Checkbox plug-in for my site.

  • Formatting: TinyMCE Advanced – this will give you a better experience as you write your articles, trust me.
  • Social Plugin: Sassy Social Share
  • Email List Popup: sumo.com (the free version)
  • Email Campaigns & Capturing Emails: Mailchimp
  • Creating Blog and Pinterest Images: Canva
  • Proofreader: Grammarly – this is a great tool catching most of my grammar and spelling errors
  • Security: All In One WP Security & Firewall
  • Backup my site: WP Database Backup
  • Broken Link Checker: This plug-in has saved me many times because links often change and there is no way I’d know that without this plug-in.
  • Strike Out No Follow Links: This Google Chrome extension is great! It helps you figure out what Affiliate links your competition is using as long as they aren’t using a plug-in that makes all of their links no-follow. When people use Affiliate Links they almost always make them a no-follow link. By downloading this Google Chrome extension it will automatically cross out any link that is a no-follow link (see example in the screenshot below) for any site you visit.

 

 

This is also a good tool to use if you want to Guest post on a blog and see if they allow do-follow links(which you want) by looking at previous Guest post articles.

Once your website is live, update Google Webmaster Search Console and submit your sitemap:

  1. After your site is verified, go to Google Search Console.
  2. Click the name of your website:
  3. Click Sitemaps:
  4. Click ADD/TESTSITEMAP.
  5. Enter sitemap.xml , and then click Submit Sitemap.

PLEASE consider SEO when you write! I wish I would have done this when I first got started.

You must follow these on-page and off-page SEO steps if you ever want to be found on Google.

I have completely enjoyed creating my website, and I’m sure you will too, it is very rewarding.

If you have any questions about starting your website, pop me a note in the comment section below…I’m happy to help!

Thanks so much for reading! If you found this content helpful, please be sure to subscribe to Tried and True Mom Jobs email list.

Are you on Instagram? Follow me as I share helpful ways to save while working full-time as a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom and enjoy the humor as I try to balance it all.

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How to Start and Make Money Blogging for Beginners

Max

Max

Max is the founder of Tried and True Mom Jobs, a blog about legitimate ways to work from home, save and invest. She only writes about things that work. Hence the name “Tried and True”. She does the research, so you don't have to.
Max

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28 Comments

  • Nikki

    Awesome tips, really useful for somebody just starting out. I’ve used both blogger and WordPress but started out with Blogger and when I switched to WordPress I found it so daunting. This would have been excellent to read as I was getting set up!

    • admin

      Thank you, Yes it was definitely a big learning curve with WordPress but I’m finally getting it.

  • Dustin

    These are some great suggestions for setting up your first blog! Great key tips. ThemForest is awesome, just be prepared to hunt and hunt and hunt. Be patient and dont waste your money til you find the best theme for you.

    • admin

      Thank you! I definitely agree, its so important to take your time and find a theme that’s right for you. There are so many on Themeforest.

  • kartika nair

    Wish I could have seen this post earlier I just started my WordPress blog and I didn’t knew in $100 I could have had this much facilities . Anyway I can add them on another blog. Really great article. Thanks!

    • admin

      Yes, I don’t know WHAT I would do without Canva. I know a lot of people use Picmonkey but to me, Canva is FREE and easy to use, so they win!

  • Kathleen Mills

    This is a wonderful post. I’m not even close to blog yet, but I have hope for the future! This will be helpful information. Thanks!

    • Max

      Thank you and if you need any help setting it up let me know, I’m happy to help.

  • Lyndsey

    Hi! I’m so excited to have found your blog! I just launched my own blog a few days ago, and it seems that we share the idea of rewriting womanhood. I want to offer women resources to help them to live the best of both worlds! This has always been my dream, but I’ve been nervous about putting my ideas out there. It is definitely a work in progress, but with bloggers like you, I feel motivated to keep on keepin’ on! Check it out at lemonlavie.com.

    • Max

      Thank you! Your blog sounds wonderful, I will check it out. Let me know if you need help with anything.

  • layal

    Hello !

    I would really need some good advice/ motivation on starting a blog.
    I have many ideas and I just dont know which to choose.
    I also don’t know how to start , how to let readers notice me.

  • SX

    Thank you for this helpful post! I have read through a number of your posts within the past 20 minutes and they are highly valuable content as compared to some blogs I have gone to – just touching the surface. I am restructuring my website that I have neglected as I was focusing on my dropshipping business. I know that having a niche is important but I am passionate about sharing what I have read, personal development and personal finance so I have some planning to do. I have subscribed to your mailing list and also have a lot to improve on so I will be coming back for more! (Will definitely use your affiliate links when the time comes!)

    • Max

      Wow, thank you! I really appreciate that, glad I could help and provide some valuable information, what a wonderful compliment 🙂

  • Dipak jadhav

    Best tips are given. I am also a new blogger and i am having all blogs on blogger. So these helps me a lot for blogging. I really thankful for this amazing tips and helps. So so good.
    Kindly share more n more tips..
    Waiting for your kind response.

    • Max

      Thank you, glad I could help and I do plan on writing some more blogging tips.

  • Brittany

    I would love to be able to start my own blog and write about what I’m passionate about (cooking and baking), but it seems like so much work to just simply get started. And without the guarantee that anyone is gonna catch on or that I’m going to make any money from it, it’s a scary thought. I wish I could be as brave as you

    • Max

      Hi Brittany, actually cooking and baking does VERY well in the blogging world. I wish I was passionate about that, it does take A LOT of work but if you’re passionate about it, it doesn’t really seem like “work”. I would love to help you along the way if you are serious, I wish someone would have done that for me. You can always email me at max@triedandtruemomjobs.com if you have any questions. I hope you do consider this because you can really make money, just not overnight.

  • Prisha Basu

    No doubt, the Google AdSense is the popular ad program for hobby and professional bloggers. But I would like to say, take advantage of affiliate marketing to earn passive income from your blog. None the less, focus on driving targeted traffic to your blog to increase your earning. None the less, sponsored posts can be a great resource for you to earn money from your blog.

    I’ve tried some of the others like theme design with not so great results, but WordPress consulting, SEO services and affiliate marketing have worked for me. Thanks to you for sharing the ways to earn via WordPress(.)com in an easy way.

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